IP Network Cameras are designed to work in a Local Area Network (LAN) and over the Internet. Within a LAN, IP Network Cameras allow for motoring local to the computer network to which the cameras are attached to. With additional configuration of your computer network you have the ability to allow for your IP Network Camera to be monitored not only locally but remotely as well using the Internet.
For advice on how to configure your network to allow for your camera to work over the Internet please follow this guide. Additional information can be found on www.networkcamerareviews.com.
Configuration - Local Access Before you are able to configure your camera to work over the Internet we suggest configuring the camera for local access first. Please refer to the technical documentation that came with your camera for proper instructions on initial configuration of your camera. Once the camera has been configured for local access you are then ready to start configuration for remote access to the camera over the Internet.
Configuration - Remote Access Before you proceed to configure your local network to allow your camera to be monitored from a remote location, we suggest that you contact your network administrator to ensure you have the proper authority to configure remote access to the camera. Once you have consulted with your network administrator you may proceed to configure remote access to the camera.
In order to configure your camera to work over the Internet you will need to configure what is called Port Forwarding. Port Forwarding allows for you to access the camera from a remote location by forwarding the network ports used by the camera onto the Internet. These ports are usually forwarded by accessing your network‘s router and configuring the router to forward the ports used by the camera.
For details as to what ports will be required for forwarding for your IP Network Camera, please consult the manufacturer of your camera. For additional information beyond this guide regarding Port Forwarding, please visit www.portforward.com where you will be able to find step by step guides on Port Forwarding specific to different models of routers.
Step 1 - Obtain IP Address Information In order to access your network‘s router for configuration of port forwarding you will require the IP Address of the router to which the camera is connected to. You can obtain this IP Address information by consulting with the network administrator of your network or by opening up a Command Prompt within Windows and entering in the “ipconfig /all” command. To open a command prompt window you will need to click on the Window’s Start button and then proceed to click on Run. Now you will enter in “cmd” and click on “Ok” to proceed.
Once you have displayed the IP Configuration for your computer using the “ipconfig /all” command, you will then be able to record the IP Address for your router. You will need this IP Address in order to access your router for configuring Port Forwarding. Your network router’s IP Address will be displayed as the Default Gateway.
Step 2 - Accessing your Network‘s Router Now that you have obtained the IP Address for your network‘s router you will then need to proceed to access your router by typing in the router’s IP Address in a web browser.
Step 3 - Configuring Port Forwarding on your Router Now that you have access to the network router you will then need to proceed to browse to the configuration section on the router where port forwarding is to take place. Please consult with the manufacturer of your router for details as to where this section is. You may also review the website NetworkCameraReviews.com where you will find detailed forum posts on port forwarding with various routers.
The Private IP Address for the camera (local IP Address of camera) has been entered in as well as a unique name that will be associated with this particular port that is to be forwarded. In this example port 80 will be forwarded for the camera. Please consult with the manufacturer of your camera for details on what port(s) will be forwarded. Some IP Network Cameras require more then one port to be forwarded in order for you to obtain all the features the camera has to offer. You will also be presented with an option to select a Protocol to be to be used. Common options found are UDP, TCP or Both. Your router may have additional options. In most cases you will need to select the protocol option “Both”. This will associate both UDP and TCP protocols to the port(s) being forwarded. In this example we with click on the Apply button once all required information has been entered.
After the settings have been saved within the router’s configuration you should be able to see this information displayed in a list. There may be other entries in this list already by default.
Step 4 - Accessing your IP Network Camera over the Internet Now that you have configured port forwarding on your network‘s router to allow the camera to be accessed over the Internet, you are now ready to attempt to access the camera. We suggest attempting to access the camera from a remote location and not within the local network for confirmation that port forwarding was configured properly. At a remote location you will need to type in the Public IP Address that is provided by you Internet Service Provider (ISP) in order for you to be able to access your camera.
Please contact your ISP if you are not sure what your Public IP Address is. You will not be able to access the camera by it’s Private IP Address (Example: 192.168.0.100) because the camera‘s Private IP Address cannot be seen on the Internet and can only be seen within the local network to which the camera is attached to.
In most applications port 80 will be forwarded and because of this no port information will be required in the Address Bar when attempting to access the camera. However, there are cases where an IP Network Camera will not use port 80. These cases are usually related to security concerns with using port 80.
We suggest contacting your network administrator or the manufacturer of you router to inquire upon the possible security concerns with forwarding port 80. If port 80 is not the port being used you will be required to enter in the full IP Address followed by a colon and the port number used.
You should now be able to fully access your IP Network Camera from a remote location using the Internet. If you require any additional support for configuring your camera for remote access, we strongly suggest that you contact the manufacturer of your camera, the manufacturer of your network‘s router or review the detailed guides found on NetworkCameraReviews.com.
About The Author
Wes Fernley runs a website called NetworkCameraReviews.com, a free online resource for users to learn about IP Network Cameras. He provides free consultation and advice. His roles include tech support, web design and sales. He can be reach via email at email@example.com.